While our International Ladies team was sweeping the boards at the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest, our County Novice Ladies team was making history when winning the silver medals at the All Ireland Novice Ladies Cross Country Championships in Adamstown. This was a fantastic achievement especially when due to late withdrawals we only had the bare minimum of four athletes competing and they all competed brilliantly.
None more so than Martina O’Dwyer who ran a brilliant race when finishing 5th. Dymphna Ryan of Dundrum also ran a brilliant race when finishing strongly over the latter stages to clinch 9th spot. These two athletes have certainly put the County on the map in the last two weeks for a fortnight ago they again produced two brilliant performances that helped the County Senior team win the All Ireland Senior inter County Bronze medals.
Now all eyes were on the rest of the team and they didn’t disappoint, in fact they rose to the occasion as word filtered back of Martina’s and Dympna’s performances, so on the final lap of the three lap race Maria Fitzgibbon of Thurles Crokes and Catherine Rice of Clonmel both increased their efforts that saw them run on strongly over the closing stages respectively and these four athletes combined very well to win the All Ireland Inter County Silver medals.
In the Men’s race we also saw some brilliant running as all twelve athletes competed with distinction. Kevin Maunsell of Clonmel ran a brilliant race when finishing strongly in 9th. Kevin Moore (Dundrum) was 30th, Niall McCormack (Clonmel) 33rd, William Maunsell 44th, David Shelly (Ballynonty) 50th, Donal Keane (Dundrum) 65th, Kenny Curran (Ballynonty) 77th, Patrick Hughes (Thurles Crokes) 84th, John Shanahan (Dundrum) 89th, Shane Mullaney (Thurles Crokes) 97th, Tony Fogarty (Thurles Crokes) 137th and Michael Moore (Dundrum) 152nd. It was great to see County athletes running so well and all these athletes mentioned above will be heading to Goold’s Cross this Sunday for the Blue riband event of the Cross Country Season when the County Junior and Senior titles for both Men and Women will be decided and going on these performances we should have some great races, starting with the junior ladies at 11am.
County Junior and Senior Cross Country Championships
County Junior and Senior Ladies and Men Cross Country Championships will take place in Goolds Cross on Sunday, same venue as last year, starting at 11 am. Please note the early starting time. As regards direction to Goold’s Cross athletes going through Cashel must go out the Ardmayle Goold’s Cross road, down at the back of the Rock of Cashel while athletes going from the Thurles are go to Clonoulty and keep left when leaving the village. It will be well signposted and Dundrum will once again have everything in place for what should be a great series of races, well worth travelling to see. The Dundrum club and indeed the County Board would like to thank Maurice and Michael Ryan for the use of their land from this fixture. The 2k lap will have a bit of everything – nice incline, undulating and a level stretch to suit the speed merchants.
The programme gets underway at 11am with the Junior Ladies 3k race followed by the Junior Men’s 6k at 11.20am. We will then have the Senior Ladies 5K starting at 11.50am followed by the Senior Men’s 10k at 12.30pm. Eligibility for these Championships are as follows: Junior athletes must be over 16 and Under 20 on the 31st of December in the year of competition while Senior have to be 20 years and over on the 31st of December in the year of competition. The County Champions last year were Serena Moloney (Thurles Crokes) – Junior Lady, Sean Tobin (Clonmel) – Junior Man, Dymphna Ryan (Dundrum) Senior Lady and Brian Murphy Carrick on Suir Senior Man.
This year’s races will be competitive. In the Senior Ladies race Dymphna Ryan the defending Champion is running well at present and will start a warm favourite in the absence of Siobhan O’Doherty (Borrisokane) to retain her title. She will face good competition from Martina O’Dwyer of Carrick on Suir who ran a brilliant race last Sunday in the All Ireland novice Cross Country in Adamstown, Angela McCann of Clonmel, Clare Annan of Carrick on Suir and Margaret Danagher of Templemore if she competes. Clonmel the defending Ladies Club Champions will start as favourites to retain their title as they can also call upon Johanna Lacy, Aine Roche and Catherine Rice. Dundrum will also be strong for along with Dymphna they can call upon such athletes as Catherine Kelly and Mary Keane. Moyne, Moore Abbey Milers, Coolquill and Carrick on Suir will all fancy their chances of a podium position.
In the Men’s race with injury ruling Brian Murphy out it should be a great race for the individual medals with Kevin Maunsell of Clonmel who had a brilliant run in the National Men’s Novice 6k last Sunday when finishing a very impressive 7th. He will face tough competition from Kevin Moore, William O’Dwyer (Dundrum) along with his club mates Niall McCormack, William Maunsell and Kevin Maunsell as well as the Ballynonty duo of David Shelly and Danny Smith. We mustn’t forget the Thurles Crokes trio of Tony Fogarty, Shane Mullaney and Denis Shanahan. In the team event Dundrum are the defending Champions as they can also call upon John Shanahan and Donal Keane while Thurles Crokes can also call upon William Hughes and Declan Doherty. Clonmel will also go close as they can call upon Niall O Ceallaigh and Paudie O’Keeffe. Ballynonty will also be in the thick of it as they can call upon Kenny Curran and Kevin Shelly.